Maybe it’s the senioritis (although if any of my professors read this, I promise I’m immune to senioritis — if I’m absent from class, I really am terribly ill); maybe it’s the allure of spring break quickly approaching, and the prospect of sunshine and stress-free days not too far ahead; maybe it’s simply the fantasy of skipping school for the day (again, professors, I’m not playing hooky, I am feeling very ill). Regardless, find time this week to dip your toes in nostalgia and re-watch “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.”
For the very few of you who have not had the chance to watch it or who have forgotten the gist of the plot because you haven’t watched it for the past decade, the film chronicles Ferris Bueller, a high school senior, and his action-packed day away from school. Through the classic excuse of being too sick to go to school and the use of wit and general mischief, Bueller and his friends, Cameron Frye and Sloan Peterson, manage to avoid their suspicious school principal Edward Rooney while having a day for the ages.
Anyone who has ever been “too sick” to go to school can truly understand the feeling of freedom and sense of “found time” during a day away from school. There is really nothing quite like the feeling of euphoria while watching the clock tick away, the image of all your peers sitting in a small, dimly-lit classroom while you are out in the city on a bright, sunshine-filled day. The beauty of this film is that it takes these feelings of euphoria and freedom and multiplies them by approximately a billion. While obviously a lot of the adventures and hijinks are quite exaggerated and outrageous, the feelings that they evoke are anything but: the general joy felt by the audience — and reflected by the actors — is as genuine as they come.
Furthermore, some of the scenes from this movie are as iconic as any movie in the history of time. Bueller’s teacher monotonously taking role and discovering Bueller is not in class — “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” — has almost become synonymous with the feeling of boredom and unbearably boring routines. The image of a red 1961 Ferrari GT California taking flight from street-level set to the classic “Star Wars” theme with the two valet attendants smiling without a care in the world perfectly captures the essence of the phrase “joyride.” Bueller emerging from the float in the middle of a parade in downtown Chicago to lead in a rousing rendition of “Twist and Shout” still inspires people to this day — at the Linebacker Lounge and everywhere else around the country — to dance just like Bueller and the rest of the parade-goers.
If for nothing else, this film is a reminder of the joy one can have by simply seizing the day and living in the moment — especially in a modern age characterized by technology as well as an increased sense of isolation and a subsequent decreased sense of community. If you have a Netflix subscription, take time out of your day to check out this classic film — but do make sure you don’t skip class.